Before I start, I’d like to say, I’m sorry if in processing my journey I ever come across as not caring about church. I probably love the church more now than I ever have. I know that on a blog, what we think we said and what others hear are not always the same thing, so I just wanted to make that clear.
The last couple of years, an ongoing question in my heart has been – where do we fit, as far as church is concerned. In the meantime, we have involved ourselves in several church relationships, attending both a congregational church and house churches.
Over time, the angst surrounding this question has drifted away, and though the question still might appear unanswered, it is no longer a source of fretfulness and worry. At least for us.
There are others though who would like us to define ourselves more clearly. In their minds, the next logical step in our relationship with them is to become more deeply involved in their program. I understand that their invitation is made with good intentions.
The Internet Monk, in his post “How God Ruined Church For Me” describes church this way:
“The world of churches is like a big mall, and there are many different kinds of stores. You choose one store–ONE–and you go there for everything you need. You are LOYAL to that store. You BELIEVE in that store and what it’s all about; in the way it does things. You persuade others that your store is the one and only store real shoppers patronize. You buy name brand merchandise at every opportunity. It’s your store. Yes, there is a mall, but you only need one store.
…The Christian world seems to work better when we find our niche and stay in it.”
We remember what it was like to be so invigorated with the vision in your heart that you can’t imagine why others would not want to participate. We saw the fruit and growth in the lives of those who embraced the vision and became involved. We know how good and fulfilling it could be.
Now we are in a different place. I know it makes some people uncomfortable that we haven’t picked a team, so to speak. But what if the place of transition is exactly where we are supposed to be, and what if trying to escape that process is not what we should do?
Liminality is a period of transition, during which your normal limits to thought, self-understanding, and behavior are relaxed, opening the way to something new. (from Wikipedia)
If we recognized liminality as part of the journey, maybe we would not be as quick to rush this process in ourselves or in others.
I haven’t read Frost and Hirsch’s books yet, but I am anxious to see what they have to say about this.